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Ryan Zimmerman won’t negotiate extension with Nationals after spring training begins

Jan 25, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT

zimmerman bats Getty Images

Ryan Zimmerman and the Nationals have been engaged in some level of long-term contract talks for going on a year now, but yesterday the third baseman told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that he’ll cut off negotiations once spring training starts:

I think it’s unfair to my teammates for that to garner any attention during the season. Once spring training comes, it’s time for us to play baseball. If there’s articles, or if there’s people asking me everyday how much money I want to make, that’s rather unfair to the other guys around me who are working just as hard to achieve that goal of winning. It’s got to get done by spring training.

All of that is nice, and as an added bonus setting a deadline also won’t hurt Zimmerman’s leverage.

That gives the Nationals less than a month to get something done–and they can use the money earmarked for Prince Fielder–although Zimmerman is under team control for 2012 and 2013 at a total of $27 million. He’s also said repeatedly that he wants to play his entire career in Washington, adding that he’s “willing to try and be creative” with a deal. Whatever that means.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    Do players actually get fazed by in-season negotiations? Their agents do all the grunt work; they merely give final determination, at most. And in Zim’s case, they even set the terms.

    Most likely, players like to give deadlines so they don’t have to be bothered.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:52 PM

      Why did I spell phased ‘fazed’? I need sleep.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:02 PM

        And an edit function.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 26, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        True dat.

  2. fearlessleader - Jan 25, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Cut and paste a few names and dates, and this could be a 2011 post about Pujols. Hey, Nats fans? Let us know if you need any help translating the agent-ese.

  3. natstowngreg - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Ryan is making all the right noises about staying and, from Kilgore’s reporting, he and the Nats aren’t too far apart. So I’m not going to stary worrying. Yet.

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